Ask most people in their 50s and 60s what they are looking forward to the most and almost all will say retirement; and you only have to look at the French riots to see just how desperate people are to get their sticky mitts on their pension.
However, while hanging up your boots might sound marvellous, for many older people in the UK it triggers a huge struggle to make ends meet.
Enter a new campaign from Age UK ,”If only you knew”, which shows how despite apparently going about their lives quite serenely, some older people are facing agonising financial challenges. Inspired by real stories, the campaign highlights the sensitivity and expertise with which Age UK helps, providing older people with practical solutions and precious reassurance.
The first work from agency Neverland, which won the account in late 2022, the ads follow one of the most difficult winters many older people will have ever experienced, as they try to make their fixed incomes stretch to cover the essentials at a time when prices are soaring.
It features a series of 60” and 30” films directed by Molly Burdett of Spindle. In the 60-second launch film, we see three older people seemingly happily going about their lives with the action set to the northern soul classic Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy’ by The Tams. But we soon realise that all is not what it seems as one of the three’s electricity meter runs out, bringing an abrupt stop to the upbeat music.
The reality of the situation each of the characters faces soon becomes clear, highlighting a lack of companionship, the struggle to pay for electricity, and the despair at the prospect of being unable to afford the heating, as well as the acute distress they feel at being in these situations.
The films end with one of the characters calling Age UK’s Advice Line for help, followed by the new campaign line: “Know what to do”. The intention is that this will encourage older people in difficulty and their families to seek out information, advice and support from the charity, online, over the phone or by letter or email, as they prefer.
The three 30-second edits are more hard hitting, focusing squarely on the issues often faced by older people, before showing them calling the charity for help.
Media for the campaign has been planned and bought by Manning Gottlieb OMD, Medialab and Enjoy Digital.
Age UK head of content strategy and brand Kathi Hall said: “The films have real beauty and poignancy within them, while showing the uncomfortable reality of the challenges a lot of older people in our society are facing and how Age UK helps, all in a way that will hopefully stay in people’s minds and hearts.”
Neverland executive creative director Noel Bunting (Hamilton) added: “Age UK’s service could help to change the life of someone you know. So watch these films, share them, and tell everyone you know about its Advice Line.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Well, with some of us of a certain age, retirement is drawing closer and closer although with the Decision Marketing Pension Fund not exactly bulging at the seams, it could be a while yet.
Of course, there is the State Pension, but £800 a month doesn’t stretch too far when everything is costing more – from fuel and energy to food and Council Tax – so the likes of Age UK provide a lifeline to many.
This activity reveals just what it is like for millions in the older generation and anything that provides support has our wholehearted support.
Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘time to help the golden oldies’ 10 out of 10